By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Nashville, Tennessee at Skyway Studios
Aired February 23, 2021 on AXS TV
Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired followed by the Impact intro theme…
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown were on commentary. The show started off with the advertised tables match between Jake Something and Deaner. Striker talked about how Deaner changed from a beautiful man with long flowing hair to new man…
John’s Thoughts: This is my first time seeing Jake Something in a match in his new moniker and I can already say that he looks way better in this role than as the comedy goof. What took them so long to pull the trigger on this repackage, especially given Impact’s need to develop young and new stars?
1. Jake Something vs. Deaner in a Tables Match. Deaner went aggressive at Jake to start the match, which included face biting. Jake turned the momentum to his favor and gave Deaner a series of lariats. Jake tried to bring a table in the ring, but Deaner did a baseball slide into the table to ram it into Something. Something used the apron as fulcrum to jab the table into Deaner’s chin. Something was able to set up a table in the corner.
Something hit Deaner with a Michinoku Driver. Deaner recovered and used a drop toehold to send Something into the corner edge of the table in the corner. Deaner catapulted Something into the bottom of the table. Deaner and Something brawled on the apron with Something teatering over the table. Something backdropped Deaner over to prevent from being shoved into the table bridge. Deaner went for a Cannonball, but Something caught him.
Deaner escaped a power bomb into the table. Deaner went to the top rope after punching Jake on the table, but Jake quickly recovered and got into superplex position. Deaner escaped to prevent from being sent into the table. Jake hit Deaner with a snapmare, followed by a shoulder tackle in the corner. Jake said his new catchphrase “What’s my name” and then hit Deaner with a sitout power bomb. Jake went for a body slam on the stairs but slipped, which allowed Deaner to escape. Deaner went for the Deaner DDT on the stage, but Something escaped and hit Deaner with a rolling forearm.
John’s Thoughts: By the way, typing (and reading) my report with me using Something’s last name as an identifier is both hilarious and weird. One of the reasons why Something isn’t exactly the most badass of names, but at least the guy finally got the gimmick change so we should count our blessings I guess.
Deaner escaped a power bomb and then hit Something in the balls. While Jake was staggering, Deaner tried to tackle Jake into the table behind Jake. Jake countered Deaner and sent him through the table with a spinebuster.
Jake Something defeated Deaner in a tables match in 9:22.
As Something tried to celebrate in the ring, Moose showed up and speared Something through the table that was set up in the corner. Striker reminded viewers that Rich Swann is not on the show due to Moose taking him out a few weeks ago. Moose sat on a chair in the ring and took a mic. Moose apologized to AXS and then threatened to hold the show hostage by doing a sit-in in the ring until he’s given his World Title Match with Rich Swann…[c]
John’s Thoughts: While that wasn’t a match of the year candidate or anything, it was still a really damn good tables match to start off the show. It was a bit refreshing to see more of an impactful and methodical match to open the show as opposed to the usual X Division spot fests that usually open up Impact. Jake Something has clearly had the size, look, and talent and was being held hostage in a dumb comedy gimmick. I’m actually even more surprised in Deaner’s shift to being a badass pitbull-type, because Deaner was actually really good at the comedy and seemed like he was destined to being a talented comedy wrestler for life. Good to see both former Deaners in greener pastures and I really hope Something interacting with Moose means that they plan to make a main event star out of Jake.
The show cut back to Moose’s sit-in. Scott D’Amore made his entrance. He now has entrance music and the Canadian maple leaf all over his video wall. D’Amore told Moose to get out of the ring so the show can continue. Moose kept demanding his world title match. D’Amore said Moose isn’t even in the building to defend his title. Jake Something then showed up and tried to rush the ring, but he was held back by referees. D’Amore then went into his usual pissed-off mode.
D’Amore yelled that the TNA World Championship means a lot to D’Amore because D’Amore helped build TNA. D’Amore then said he was now making the TNA Championship an official “World Title” in Impact Wrestling. D’Amore said that Moose will get the world title main event he wants because D’Amore is booking Moose in a title defense on the main event of this show against Jake Something. D’Amore’s theme played to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: On one hand, I’m not a fan of Impact making the TNA Championship an official world title for no real reason other than Moose carrying around a belt that he picked up out of the proverbial garbage (this is made even worse with Rich Swann being such a weak Impact “world” champion). This reminds me of that one time Booker T became a champion in TNA with a toy belt he dragged out of his briefcase. That said, I really like Jake Something being inserted into the main event picture immediately against Moose. Impact really needs to make stars and I’d say why not go all the way with someone like Jake Something who has all the potential in the world. This is a good hook and I’m really looking forward to Something vs. Moose as a strong TV main event.
Matt Striker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Striker reminded viewers that the TNA World Heavyweight Championship is now an official world title in Impact. Striker and Brown ran through the advertised segments for this show…
Entrances for the six person tag with X Division Championship implications took place heading into commercial…[c]
2. Trey Miguel, Willie Mack, and Josh Alexander vs. Ace Austin (w/Madman Fulton), Black Taurus, and Chris Bey in a match to earn their spots in next week’s X Division Number One Contenders Triple Threat. Bey and Miguel started off the match and Striker was excited that the match was starting off with both team’s ace wrestlers (but Ace Austin isn’t starting the match! Missed pun opportunity Striker!). Bey and Miguel started off the match with chain wrestling. Miguel used a modified gator roll to get three pin attempts on Bey. Ace tagged in and was tossed into the corner by Miguel.
Alexander and Mack then traded quick tags to keep the advantage and isolation over Ace. Taurus and Mack tagged in and had a lucha libre agility exchange. Striker was giddy over the possibility of seeing AAA Mega Champion Kenny Omega or AAA Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush in Impact due to a working relationship with AAA. Mack got the advantage with an armdrag and dropkick. Alexander tagged in and hit Taurus with a rolling Fireaman Carry. Bey got the distraction which allowed Taurus to lay in some shots on Alexander. Taurus caught Alexander in the corner with the Whisper of the Wind to head into the commercial with the advantage.
Bey, Austin, and Taurus used tags to isolate Alexander in their corner. Alexander hit Ace with a Backbreaker Bomb to get the tag to Trey for the hot tag. Trey locked Ace in a pendulum followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Trey hit Taurus with an Atomic Drop. Trey hit Taurus with a single leg codebreaker. Trey hit Ace with Cheeky Nandos. Bey shoved Trey off the top rope to prevent him from hitting Ace with a Doomsday Device. Mack caught Ace with a pop up right hand for a two count.
Ace crotched Mack on the top rope. Ace hit Mack with a clunky frankensteiner in the corner. Ace hit Mack with his finisher, The Fold. Trey and Alexander broke up the pin attempt. Taurus hit Trey with an Argentine Backbreaker. Alexander hit Taurus with a German Suplex. Ace escaped an ankle lock from Alexander and sent him right into Chris Bey’s slingshot DDT. Mack had his punch blocked but he followed up with an Exploder Suplex on Bey. Bey avoided Mack’s frog splash. Ace caught Mack in the back of the head with a kick. Bey hit Mack with a Springboard Cutter for the victory.
Chris Bey, Ace Austin, and Black Taurus defeated Willie Mack, Trey Miguel, and Josh Alexander via pinfall in 8:43 of on-air time.
Striker noted that next week’s X Division number one contenders match will be between Bey, Austin, and Taurus.
John’s Thoughts: A fun X-Division style match with everyone you expected to be protected, protected. Mack is the obvious answer to be the fall guy here and he’s solid in that role. I do find it odd that next week’s triple threat is between a bunch of heels with Taurus as the de facto babyface (He’s been introduced as a babyface, but he was just introduced as a part of the Decay act not too long ago). I say that, but I also wonder if Taurus was a substitute for Sammy Guavara who was expected to be on Impact at some point to continue his AEW storyline. It was reported that Taurus was subbed into scripts for Guavara when Guavara refused to show up to the tapings. (I know people were speculating that Guavara out be a part of Decay in that instance, but I feel like Guavara was going to be in this match without Decay even being involved)
Sami Callihan was waiting to harrass Trey Miguel backstage. Callihan kept berating Miguel, saying that he totally expects Miguel to flake out and leave Impact again. Callihan said that even though Miguel didn’t get pinned, the weak link of Miguel’s team in that match was Miguel’s lack of passion. Miguel then tackled Sami and had to be pulled away by security. Trey yelled at security to not touch him. Trey walked away, with Sami chuckling on the ground…
This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was “Decay” Abyss and Crazzy Steve vs. “BroMans” Robbie E and Jessie Godderz for the TNA Tag Team Championships. They aired about 3 minutes of the match. Steve picked up the pinfall after Abyss power bombed Steve onto Jessie to help Decay retain their championships. This was back when Decay had “The Nobodies” theme by Marilyn Manson as their entrance music (it was pretty cool in 2016 when Impact was using licensed music as their theme songs)…
Rosemary and Crazzy Steve cut a promo backstage while Black Taurus was making grunting noises. Rosemary talked about how Decay was summoned to the world 5 years ago. Steve said that the hivelings have been patient and the resurrection of the death dealers is upon us. Rosemary said Black Taurus will help bring gold to the shadow next week. Rosemary said Decay will start with the X Division Championship and then go for all the titles. Rosemary said without Death there is no life, without chaos the world is stagnant, and without darkness there is no light.
Rosemary said Decay is nature correcting it’s course. Rosemary said that as death’s icy fingers tickles the back of your neck, as the darkness envelops your vision, that is the dawn of the new age of shadow brought forth by the death dealers of Decay… Decay… Decay. The promo ended with Steve doing his creepy laugh…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Man, that promo gave me goosebumps in a good way. Not only was it fun to see Rosemary cutting logical and non-pretentious promos again, but seeing the original Billy Corgan version of Decay brought back memories of 2016 when Impact Wrestling had arguably their best year creatively under Matt Conway and Dave Lagana. Can we get more of THIS type of character building. Deep characters, good promos, credible wrestlers, and meaningful storytelling. Too much these days Impact goes for yuk-yuk lowbrow humor and bland storytelling. I wouldn’t be opposed to Anthem’s Impact bringing back some of the Corgan Impact stuff from 2016 because I can see that allowing Impact to stand out in a positive way. If anything, at least bring back the Paul Heyman classic Smackdown Six formula for god’s sake.
It was time for this week’s Tony and Tony AEW Paid Advertisement segment with Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone. Schiavone started off with a Tony Awards joke. This week the Tony’s were joined by Britt Baker, Rebel, Ricky Starks, Brian Cage, Dolph Ziggler’s brother, Matt Hardy, and Isiah Kassidy. Schiavone introduced Khan as “The Forbidden Door”. Sciavone wondered why Khan was still wearing heart shaped sunglasses when Valentines had already passed. Khan said he’s wearing them because he has the biggest heart in pro wrestling and is continuing to do charity for Impact Wrestling. Khan said Impact is like his own personal Big Brother program where Impact is the little kid that he mentors once a week.
Khan talked about how he brought only 4% of the AEW roster on the paid ad this week and how this 4% has way more star power than Impact would get in two years of existence. Khan said that Dynamite is a “real wrestling show”. Sciavone passed the mic around for each wrestler to hype up their matches on tomorrow’s Dynamite. Ricky Starks talked about how bad Impact’s management was and how Cage is a former Impact World Champion. Dolph Ziggler’s brother stood out like a sore thumb, trying to do a bad impression of a movie star. Matt Hardy hyped up his feud with Hangman Page. Sciavone ran through the rest of the Dynamite card…
Jessika Havok tried to cheer up Nevaeh backstage and told her not to worry about their recent losses. Havok said they should just step back and come up with different strategies. Nevaeh brushed Havok off and said she just needs to step away for a bit. After Nevaeh left, Tenille Dashwood and Kaleb showed up to try to recruit Havok to teaming up with Tenille. Kaleb talked about how much he likes that Havok spells her name “with a K” instead of Havoc. Havok told Tenille that she wasn’t interested and then walked off. Kaleb said he thinks there’s chemistry between Tenille and Havok…
John’s Thoughts: On the bright side, I’m liking that they’re actually putting in effort to tell a story with the Havok and Nevaeh tag team. Over the past few weeks, Nevaeh has gotten a chance to feel meaningful in her “down on her luck” storyline. I only wish that they had a better foil to bounce off of because Tenille Dashwood has been a very bland heel for a very long time. And her generic babyface act that she debuted in Impact wasn’t good either.
3. Impact Tag Team Champions “The Good Brothers” Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows vs. “Team XXXL” Larry D and Acey Romero in a non-title match. Striker name dropped a handful of New Japan wrestlers to start the match. Anderson and D started out the match. Larry took down Anderson with a shoulder tackle. Anderson came back with a basement dropkick to the knee. Gallows tagged in and used his power moves to toss around Larry D. The Good Brothers cut the ring in half on Larry. The fake crowd noise was cheering for both teams. Acey tagged in, but was quickly controlled by Gallows’ punches.
The Good Brothers cut the ring in half on Acey with tags. Larry got a knee to the back of Anderson to give Acey the advantage. Acey and Larry double teamed Anderson in their corner. Gallows got the hot tag and the fake crowd went wild for him cleaning house. Gallows took down Larry with a high roundhouse. Anderson tagged back in and the Good Brothers hit Larry D with the Magic Killer to give Anderson the pinfall win.
The Good Brothers defeated Team XXXL via pinfall in 5:50.
The fake crowd noise went wild for the Good Brothers winning (so I’m guessing they’re the babyfaces in this match). For some reason, Gallows kept acting like the tag belt was his man junk…
The show cut to this week’s “Swinger’s Palace” segment which now includes James Storm and Chris Sabin acting drunk. After Chris Sabin talked about how much he “loves this g-damn place” in Swinger’s Palace, Johnny Swinger ended up booking a match between Rohit Raju and James Storm…
An ad aired for the Impact Wrestling Rebellion PPV which will air Saturday, April 24th…
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows walked up to talk to Dave Finlay and Juice Robinson backstage. Anderson talked about how Robinson and Finlay should stll be the Kohai’s of the Good Brothers and how the Good Brothers continue to “Beat up everybody!”. Robinson mocked the Good Brothers for taking a while to beat XXXL. Finlay brought up the Good Brothers being former IWGP Tag Champs, WWE Tag Champs, and New Japan Tag League winners. Robinson said the Good Brothers are the best at wrestling while hung over. Finlay and Juice left. Anderson said that he’s not even hungover today. Gallows replied by saying “I am”…
Eddie Edwards made his entrance for a match against Brian Myers. Brian Myers made his entrance wearing street clothes. Myers revealed that he hired a lawyer named Mark Sterling. Sterling appeared on the big screen. Sterling said that he advised Myers to not wrestle due to an eye injury.
Sterling said that he is allowed to make a replacement in the upcoming match per Brian’s Impact contract. Sterling introduced Brian’s “homie” Hernandez as the replacement for the upcoming match. Matt Striker said he wants to punch Mark Sterling…
4. Hernandez (w/Brian Myers) vs. Eddie Edwards. The commentators talked about how they feel Myers is overexaggerating an injury. Hernandez dominated Eddie to start the match. Matt Striker said that Brian Myers is “acting like a B”. Hernandez hit Eddie with a Pounce in the center of the ring. Eddie and Hernandez brawled on the top rope. Eddie hit Hernandez with a top rope superplex. Hernandez then came back at Eddie with a body press. Eddie escaped a backbreaker and then hit Hernandez with a top rope Boston Knee Party for the victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Hernandez via pinfall in 2:28.
Striker said that he thinks Brian Myers’ eye injury is a myth. The commentators then hyped up upcoming matches…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A decent enough win for Eddie Edwards, but I feel Eddie Edwards is beyond repair at this point as long as he’s running out there acting like a fake badass with the goofy ring attire. I’m saying this as a person who really likes Eddie Edwards as a wrestler and hear that he’s an even better person backstage. The American Wolves, that was badass. Crazy Eddie (or the toned down Bland Crazy Eddie) is a goofball that you can’t take seriously. I also feel like Brian Myers deserves better than to be stuck in this feud involving Eddie and the artist formerly known as Zack Ryder. Myers is a person who has done a great job redefining himself and his feud is currently slowing down his momentum. Maybe they’ll surprise me? I don’t think they will.
An Impact Plus ad aired on AXS…
Brian Myers and Matt Cardona were chatting backstage and were interrupted by Scott D’Amore. D’Amore mumbled to Myers that Myers was acting like a mark for posting his Impact contract on social media. D’Amore said that Myers’ contract also states that he’s only allowed to be medically cleared by Impact’s doctor named “Doctor Ross”. Myers said he just wants to work in a safe work environment.
D’Amore said he was booking Myers vs. Edwards in an Eye for an Eye match (made infamous by Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins). D’Amore then made Matt Cardona the guest referee for the match. Myers asked D’Amore if he was being serious. D’Amore said he was just kidding because an eye for an eye match would be the dumbest thing anyone can think of, especially if the person who loses their eye shows up a few weeks later with their eye totally fine…
5. Jordynne Grace and Jazz vs. Kimber Lee and Susan Yung (w/Deonna Purrazzo) to become number one contenders to the Knockouts Tag Team Championships. Ugh, Striker sung the “oh no no” tiktok song for some reason. Jazz and Susan started off the match with Jazz dominating Susan during the chain wrestling sequence. Jazz got a two count on Susan after a tackle. Jazz got another two count after some clubbing blows. Deonna distracted Jazz and got a cheap shot on Jazz while the referee was distracted. ODB ran out to attack Deonna. The referee ejected Deonna and ODB from ringside heading into commercial.[c]
Lee had Jazz locked in a headlock. Jazz escaped and hit Lee with a back kick for a two count. Lee came back with a side slam on Jazz for a two count. Susan tagged in and dominated Jazz with methodical offense. The heels traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Jazz. Jazz got Kimber to the mat with a headbutt. Susan and Grace tagged in with Grace cleaning house. Gracehit Susan with a spinebuster. Lee broke up the pin attempt.
Jazz and Jordynne hit Susan with a double front suplex. Susan kicked out at two. Jordynne put Susan in the Torture Rack and followed up with a German Suplex. Susan yanked Jordynne’s ear to escape a Saito Suplex. Jazz tackled Lee and took her to ringside. Susan put Grace in the ankle lock. Striker said Susan must be learning from watching Eric Young and Josh Alexander use that move. Grace escaped Susan’s ankle lock and hit Susan with a Grace Driver for the victory.
Jordynne Grace and Jazz defeated Susan and Kimber Lee via pinfall in 7:57 of on-air time to become number one contenders to the Knockouts Tag Team Championships.
Highlights from the match aired…
Grace and Jazz found ODB laid out in the hallways backstage. Grace assumed it was Deonna who attacked ODB…
John’s Thoughts: A well worked women’s tag team match where Impact continues to showcase their deep and talented women’s roster (at the same time, the Impact Knockouts Championship has felt like it has been on ice for months while Impact was building up the tag division). I’m looking forward to Grace and Jazz vs. Tasha and Kiera. Jazz has been particularly fun to watch. She was retired right before signing with Impact and is seemingly doing some of the best in-ring work of her career. She even worked the bulk of this match.
Matt Sriker and D’Lo Brown checked in from their commentary set. Brown said he thinks that Deonna attacked ODB backstage and Striker said that Deonna is innocent until proven guilty. Striker announced Rohit Raju vs. James Storm for next week’s Before the Impact show. The following segments were announced for the main Impact show: Brian Myers vs. Eddie Edwards with Matt Cardona as guest referee, Good Brothers and Fin-Juice vs. XXXL and Reno Scum in an eight person tag match, and Chris Bey vs. Black Taurus vs. Ace Austin in a number one contenders match for the X Division Title…
While Moose was making his entrance, he was attacked from behind by Jake Something. Jake and Moose brawled at ringside heading into commercial…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Now, I’m really looking forward to this Moose vs. Something match, but at the same time I really felt like Impact could have done at least a segment or two for Jake Something to have him treat this match like a big deal. Not the worst thing in the world, I just feel like it was a missed opportunity for some Jake Something character development.
6. Moose vs. Jake Something for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Moose gained control of the match after hitting Jake with a running dropkick. Moose hit Jake with a chest chop in the corner. Jake came back with a few punches, but Moose came back with an eye rake and a right hand. Moose fishhooked Jake’s nose which D’Lo noted is meant to annoy Jake. Moose sidestepped a Jake dive and then tripped Jake off the apron when Jake hit the brakes.
Moose went back to the methodical offense, but Jake sidestepped a Moose tackle and came back with a few lariats. Moose withstood a few shortarm lariats. Jake turned Moose inside out with a lariat. Jake hit Moose with a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Moose caught Jake on the top rope with one of his signature high dropkicks. Matt Striker plugged the Impact Plus “Sacrifice” show for March 13.
Moose beat a ten count with a Kip Up. Jake reversed Moose’s spear with a pop up power bomb. Jake and Moose traded fighting spirit punches in the center of the ring. After trading more strikes, Moose hit Jake with two Uranages. Moose hit Jake with a rip cord lariat (he finally hit somebody with that move). Moose hit Jake with the spear for the victory.
Moose defeated Jake Something via pinfall in 6:54 to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Moose attacked Jake Something with a chair after the match. Rich Swann ran out for the save and beat down Moose. Scott D’Amore walked out and booked a Rich Swann vs. Moose match at the Impact Sacrifice show with Swann’s Impact World Title on the line…
John’s Thoughts: As much as I dislike Impact legitimizing Moose’s trash can belt, I’m a huge fan of Impact trying to create new stars and like Jake Something immediately getting shot into the main event this soon after his repackage. It wouldn’t work with a lot of wrestlers, but Jake Something has the talent that deserves such a push. Heck, I would have gone all the way by having Jake win the title in his first main event, just to send the message of trying to create a new star; but I also understand that he’s protected by having to wrestle in two matches in the same night while also giving Moose a run for his money. I wouldn’t mind Moose actually unifying the TNA and Impact title to set up Jake dethroning him down the road if they really want to get behind Jake.
By the way? Didn’t comedy-goof Eric Young back in the day also find the TNA title out of the trash can and paraded around as the fake world champion? I remember this because it led to one of my favorite Impact comedy segments of Eric Young rolling up D’Lo Brown in a title defense because he thought D’Lo was Cee’Lo Green of the Voice. Anyway, jokes aside, this was a better episode of Impact than in recent weeks. The stupid stuff was relegated to a 3 minute segment with Johnny Swinger. We got more positive developments on this episode throughout the show, like the showcase of Jake Something, or the reintroduction of the cool Decay faction.